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Gucci Ad Banned For Featuring "Unhealthily Thin" Models

Lifestyle

Campaign ads for Gucci's latest cruise collection have been banned in the United Kingdom,Fashionista reports, following a ruling from the country's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). After the below video showcasing the campaign appeared on British newspaper The Times's website, the ASA received a complaint arguing that two models were "unhealthily thin":

The ASA's report notes the complaint related to two models: Madison Stubbington, pictured sitting on the couch in a yellow suit (above left), and Avery Blanchard, pictured leaning against a wall in a patterned dress (above right). 

In their response, Gucci argued that "the visual parts of [the models'] bodies appeared toned and slim," but not too slim. Whether a model is "unhealthily thin" or not, they continued, is a "subjective matter." Read their argument in full below:

"The ads were part of a video that portrayed a dance party and was aimed at an older, sophisticated audience. They noted that the target population of The Times, where the ad appeared, had an adult and mature readership. They said it was, to some extent, a subjective issue as to whether a model looked unhealthily thin. which they considered was not the case for either of the women identified by the complainant. They believed both models had slim builds. but were not depicted in a way that could be interpreted as unhealthily thin. For example, nowhere in the ads were any models' "bones" visible, their makeup was natural rather than heavy (which might have accentuated the impression of thinness), lighting was uniform and warm to ensure there were no hollows caused by shadows and their clothes were not revealing. The visual parts of their bodies appeared toned and slim."

Regardless, the ASA eventually ruled that Blanchard did appear too skinny in the campaign — "her torso and arms were quite slender and appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body," their ruling read. "Further, her pose elongated her torso and accentuated her waist so that it appeared to be very small...We also considered that her sombre facial expression and dark make up, particularly around her eyes, made her face look gaunt." Even if intended to combat problematic portrayals of the female form, it's worth noting this is a pretty body-shaming statement in itself.

Still, this decision means the campaign now can't ever appear again in the U.K. "in its current form" (though, at this point, Gucci's moved past cruise season anyway). The ASA has also charged Gucci with acting more "responsibly" going forward.

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